One of my favorite characters in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is Dobby the house elf. Readers meet Dobby in The Chamber of Secrets and learn that he is determined to "save Harry Potter" even though he is the indentured servant of a family of wizards who are looking to destroy Harry. Dobby risks a great deal to protect Harry, but Harry is not appreciative of Dobby's efforts.
At the end of Book 2, Harry escapes mortal peril and manages to procure Dobby's freedom. Dobby's first act as a free elf: to protect Harry Potter from his former master.
Dobby shows up in the subsequent books of the series, and in the final book, he gives Harry the highest praise, by calling him "friend."
In true Anglican fashion, J.K. Rowling doesn't employ blatant "God talk" or any overt attempts to proselytize in her writing, but those who have eyes to see and ears to hear easily find the threads of the Gospel woven into her writing. Jesus' comment to the disciples, "I do not call you servants...but I have called you friends," echoes through Dobby's tale. And Rowling sets before her readers the reality that those who are freed from bondage will have to choose who and how they will serve: the same master, self, or others.
All of us who become part of the body of Christ are called to serve.Our life together succeeds when we are willing to work with and for one another. Every facet of our community life is built and sustained by our community. From our worship, to our formation, to our fellowship, it is when we give of ourselves that we make church possible.
I am grateful for all of those members of St. Margaret's who serve. And this Sunday, I'm encouraging every member to meet up in the parish hall around 10:30, take a sticker that says "Ask Me About....." and fill in a way in which you passionately and faithfully serve your church. AND, when people ask you about it, TELL THEM!
I have the privilege of hearing what St. Margaret's means to many of our members and why they want to give back. I want everyone to have that opportunity. I want people to hear how, when Carmen and Michelle Brito bake communion bread, they always add love. I want people to know why one person joined bell choir or why another has been singing for years. Tell us why you come to Charlie's Place or why you pull weeds in the garden. Tell us why you serve -- because it is important to remember that when we serve one another in Christ, we are not servants; we are friends.